Though perhaps not the conference or expo giant of certain ‘other’ industry gatherings, New York’s recent return presentation foray Demo Night 2 does exactly what it says on the tin. We sent our resident man in the field, Benjamin ‘slave for the cause’ Serviss, over to investigate
Psychonauts, ZamBeeZee and Moleculous – Oh My!
Say “E3” out loud and anyone who’s ever picked up a controller most likely knows what you’re talking about. Mutter “GDC,” and there’s a good chance someone will recognize the acronym of the Game Developer’s Conference. Lesser-known trade shows and events such as CES, Philly Classic, and PAX are not yet on the radar of the mainstream gaming public, and they enjoy a somewhat less manic atmosphere, but even these events are fast becoming massive extravaganzas. That’s where Demo Night comes in – a toned down meeting for videogame developers to demonstrate their works in progress, unspoiled by frenzied masses of trade people or excessive media hype.
For one night, the New York City office of host developer Large Animal became the hot spot to be for industry players. Coordinated through the New York and New Jersey chapters of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), Demo Night was created by Large Animal to foster growth in the community of east coast developers, with out of State guests welcomed as well.
As the projector was readied to showcase the games in the Large Animal workspace on 29th Street, professionals chatted with IGDA members over drinks, discussing everything from recent releases to the upcoming GDC in San Francisco. Noting the casual atmosphere typical of IGDA gatherings, it was hard to believe that even more attendees were on the way. 150 guests had observed RSVP for the invitation-only event – an increase from the first Demo Night’s 120 attendees – and the spacious loft office was already bulging.
Robert Wisbeski, a programmer for the mobile games market, expressed his anticipation concerning the evening’s upcoming presentations. “The first Demo Night showcased some impressive technology,” Wisbeski commented, “but this time, everything’s looking to be bigger and better.” With 2 Xbox games, 1 Mobile game and 3 web/downloadable games on the menu, there was something for every kind of gaming taste.
As proceedings began, IGDA Executive Director, Jason Della Rocca, stepped up to the microphone. Coming from Canada to New York City for the first time just for the event, Della Rocca spoke for a few minutes on the IGDA’s objectives, namely protecting game developers’ rights to free speech, promoting workplace diversity, addressing the